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Sainsbury’s has released a line of edible insects


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Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has rolled out its range of edible insects in 250 of its stores. 

The new snack food line consists of small bags of BBQ flavoured roasted crickets, which can be snacked on like a packet of crisps or used as a garnish for salads and noodles. The bags cost £1.50.

According to Sky News, the insects are described as, ‘crunchy in texture with a rich smoky flavour’, and can be added by chefs to foods such as guacamole for a more nutty flavour.


Insects are already a popular delicacy in many countries, including Cambodia

Insects are already a popular delicacy in many countries, including Cambodia // Image credit: McKay Savage

The London based Eat Grub Company is behind the packaging for the new snack food and is marketing the edible insects as ‘more sustainable than pork scratchings … and more exciting than a crisp.’ 

Interest in insect-based food has increased significantly, following rising concerns over the negative environmental impact of the global meat industry. 

Insect farming requires significantly less land, water and feed compared to cows or other livestock, and emits a fraction of the greenhouse gasses. New research suggests that by 2023 the edible insect market could exceed $520m. 

Tom Cumberlege, writing for the WWF blog, says: "Typically our meals are built around protein-rich main ingredients, which often represent the biggest environmental impact on our plates.

"On a global level, the pressures on the environment of food production are increasing at a worrying rate. As billions become better off they are choosing to consume foods that have a more significant environmental impact, such as meat and dairy. These can require many times more water and land to produce than other protein choices."

Although insects are rarely eaten in the UK, they already feature in the diets of over 2 billion people worldwide. It has been suggested that bringing them to the Western economy could help feed the world’s ever-growing population. 

This move by Sainsbury’s marks the first time insects are being brought to the mass market and is a move that is set to be followed by Selfridges, who are planning to release their own 'Bug Bar' in February next year. 

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